Diablo; Electricity in my life

I had intentions of getting this thing written pretty early this morning, had and idea that I was going to go on about for however long it would take, then got sidetracked.

It was that damn Diablo again.

I realized that it had been quite a while since I logged any of my characters on, so decided I better do a quick once-in with each of the reamaining ones to make sure that they were not also lost. Of course, as it happens, I found that I had a Paladin that was on his way through the frozen part of act 5, so I figured I would give it a go for a few minutes. What happened, as it always seems to, is that I found the next zone before I found the waypoint. I then retraced my steps and explored out the zone until I did eventually find the waypoint. Thing is, I had already cleared the zone and had a map to the entrance of the next area, if I didn’t continue I would have to clear the whole zone again…

That type of logic kept me going through the ‘Frigid Highlands’, ‘Arreat Plateau’ and even into the ‘Crystalline Passage’, where I again found the next zone before I found the waypoint. Of course it would have been selfish of me to leave ANYA freezing down there when I was so close to the ‘Frozen River’, so I made the decision to free her. The ‘Frozen River’ was actually pretty easy, mind you I am on normal with this character. The thing that made me spend the better part of my day on this damn game was the first drop I got when I entered the ‘Frozen River’. It was not an amazing item, just the Tearhaunch Greaves, but I lost 18 out of 24 characters from my three accounts some time ago, as a result I don’t have anything remotely good that you can use prior to level 45 or so, and those boots were simply made for the Pally I was playing, problem was I couldn’t even pick them up.

For better or worse, I collect the gems and runes that I find along the way with all of the characters that I start. The better is that I always have the right gem/rune for whatever I am trying to do (not counting the higher level runes, as long as I have a Nef and a Lum I am happy). The worse is that I end up with all of my new characters being jammed full of the damn things. Makes me wonder how I did this in D2C, before they doubled the stash size. Anyway, I spent almost an hour clearing the inventories of my three most recent players of their gems/runes, upgrading them as necessary, and saving them to a brand new mule (who will likely get deleted in eight hours or so, making this whole point moot). Then I looked at the clock and saw that I had been playing/muling for almost four hours, at that point I simply saved, exited, and started to type this.

I hate that weird Diablo time warp.

• Fun With Electricity!

As I was laying in bed last night, unable to sleep after having a horrible day, my mind started wandering to weird events in my life that involved electricity. Well, to be fair, the events didn’t always need to involve electricity, but they always did. The results of such were usually not good, and as they streamed through my mind I thought it might make a good anecdotal thing to slap up here. Of course I don’t really know what my adoring fans want, since I never get emails to the positive or negative, so you will take it and you will like it. Or you could choose a different destination, but come on, other than my site, how many more sites are there on the internet?

I didn’t discover the mysterious power of electricity until I was seven or eight. I knew that flipping a switch was not what was making the light come out of the light overhead, but I had no idea what could be causing that to happen. I spent my youngest years, even until I was in the second or third grade, just wondering how it all worked -yet, not wondering enough to read a book on it. And, honestly, if I read a book that explained how the power was carried through little wires, even today, I would think it was a load of crap.

After my first year of school (first grade, as none of the children in my family went to pre-school or kindergarten) , the school that I attended, “Riverside Elementary”, was closed. I am not entirely sure why it was closed, the story that the children were told was that it was too close to ‘Garden Valley Boulevard’, which, through the years, had turned into more of a Freeway than a street. I still don’t know why Riverside closed down, what I do know is that half of the kids then got transferred to “Fir Grove Elementary”, while the other half was divided between “Sunny Slope” and “Rose”. I lost several of the friends that I had made in my first year of school through this change, but you must always trust that your parents’ always have your best interests at heart (even if you think that the best-interests are wrong, or, at best, misguided).

There were only two of my friends, in my grade, that also got transferred over to Fir Grove. Even with the number at 3, we were still only about 10% of that class. That makes you do weird things, things that you would not ever do if you were not being judged by a bunch of people that you didn’t know. So, finally, on to the fun with electricity.

The first, and most unbelievable, experience with electricity involved an electric fence. There was a field around “Fir Grove” that was surrounded by an average chain-link fence, yet instead of having military style razor wire at the top, it had an electric wire. Through the egging on of the other kids, five of us got brave enough to see what would happen if you actually touched the ‘live’ part of the fence. There ended up being a group of five of us, myself and a friend, as well as three guys from the new school that did it. No one actually wanted to touch the fence, so we decided that we would all hold hands as someone did, finally, a much braver kid than me, said he would do the touching. After that we filed in until I was the 3rd person in the chain. We all assumed that it was going to be an equal shock to all of us, turns out that we were wrong. For some reason, which I still don’t understand, the only one that got shocked was the kid that was at the very end of the line, furthest from the power. He looked like he was damn near dying, while none of the rest of us felt a thing. Once the lead kid let go of the wire, the kid at the end quit his spasm. Was it a staged event for our benifit? I dunno. What I do know is that the kid at the end of the line looked like he was having his bones removed through his ears, not a happy face, if that was acting, he should be up for an Oscar.

The next incident involving electricity was much more painful, for me anyway. An Aunt and Uncle of mine lived in a small trailer on the property of another Aunt. They told me that if I was going to open the door of the trailer that I needed to be standing on the milk crate that they used as a step to get inside. I did that each time I opened the door, never questioning why. Of course, being ten or eleven at the time, my memory lapsed just once when I reached for the doorknob.

The second I touched the knob the shock hit me. For some reason, not sure why, I was not able to let go of the knob. I was also not able to shout. I was just standing there jerking around like someone in the electric chair. I don’t know how long I was standing there with the electricity running through me, but it certainly felt like it was at least a good minute. Thankfully, my then Stepdad saw what was happening and reached out to pull me away, but he got shocked when he touched me. He lowered a shoulder and hit me linebacker style to knock me free of the knob, which hurt, but was nothing compared to the jolt I was getting from the trailer. To this day I don’t know how or why the outside of the trailer was electrified, and I still get a bit nervous every time I open the door on a mobile home.

There was a day in my early teens when I was riding my bicycle home from the Tenmile store (why it was called Tenmile may never be known; It was not ten miles from anything.), when I had to stop to relieve myself. This was in rural Oregon and there was hardly any traffic so it was a pretty common occurence. Even at that, I climbed down a small embankment to make sure that no one would see me. I started to water a tree (so to speak) at the bottom when I heard a car approaching from my left. As I turned to the left to make sure that I was not in the line of sight of the car my body, and thus the stream, followed. I had heard that it was not possible to be shocked by peeing on an electric fence, but I am here to tell you that it is possible, and it hurts! I didn’t even know that the tree was holding the electric wire, if you have ever seen a field surrounded by nothing but an electric wire you would understand what I mean. It is just a tiny little strand of metal, but it sure packed a punch. And much like with the trailer in the previous tale, it was not possible for me to move or stop peeing. It did only take a few seconds for my bladder to empty, but still, ouch. Electricity running through your penis is really not all that pleasant.

Now for one where no one gets hurt for a change. You have no doubt seen those Touch Lamps at one time or another. I always wondered how they work (of course as I just google up that link I found the answer, kind of disappointing really, I was hoping it really was magic). While at my then Girlfriend’s house one day, I was screwing with her touch lamp when I wondered what would happen if I touched the lamp, then she touched me. We tried it and it worked. For some reason though it will only work with two people. When we tried it with me touching the lamp, her touching me, then her dad touching her, it just didn’t work. Also, if I was touching the lamp when her little dog licked me it would also trigger the lamp. That was good for a lot of mindless fun, also I did win couple of bets where my buddies would not believe that it would work with more than one person.

In my late teens, myself and a few friends had the most ridiculous form of entertainment that you could imagine. We took an old electrical cord, -I think it came off of a toaster but that hardly matters- and stripped the ends of the wires. We would then take turns plugging it into the outlet, holding one bare end in our hand, then touching the inside of that elbow with the other wire. The electricity would cause the muscles to contract, it kind of looked like you were doing curls at high speed. Now I am sure that you are thinking, “what could possibly go wrong?” Well what went wrong is that one of the friends’, I can’t remember which one, muscles flexed so tightly that he was not able to pull the cord out of the crook of his arm. Strangely, well maybe not considering what we were doing, it took us a good thirty seconds to figure out that we could just unplug the damn thing. In that scenario all of my friends were smoking pot which kind of gave them an excuse for their stupidity. I was stone sober and did it as well, what does that say about me?

That is pretty much it for really memorable moments involving electricity. There are hundreds of other times that I have been shocked, usually while doing something that was at least a tad foolish. The rest of the times that I got shocked were all probably avoidable had I not been in a hurry, or had I thought things through a bit better. Things like getting shocked when changing a light bulb, something that would never happen if you just turn off the switch before you start, but then how do you know when the bulb is screwed in far enough? If you screw it in too tightly it is more likely to break when you try to remove it. There have been a couple of times when I have been changing the ballasts on fluorescent lights at work when someone turned the circuit back on, thus giving me a shock if I was actually touching the wire at the time. This could easily have been avoided if I had just put a piece of masking tape over the switch with something like “being repaired” written on it, but I never think of that until I am sitting on my ass with a weird buzzing going through me.

I have gotten better over the years. Hell a couple of years after I bought my house I actually bought an electrical tester to make sure that a particular circuit was off before I started fucking with it. The down side to having all the bad experiences is that now when I am working on anything electrical I practically shit my pants if someone touches me or I hear the slightest buzzing sound.

That is a bit odd also. Why is it that you can clearly hear the buzzing while you are being shocked but no one else can? Perhaps next time I am doing something foolish enough that I may get shocked I will go ahead and set up some sort of sensitive audio device to record it, just to see if it actually makes an audible sound. Then again if I were to spend that much time setting up the audio device it would seem I would be smart enough to just turn off the circuit first. In theory.

Leave a Reply